Sandra Nykerk was raised among the horned toads in South Texas, subsequently spending twenty years in a Chicago suburb before discovering that Home was in Montana. She has been photographing since childhood, seriously since the Seventies, and teaching photography and natural history programs for nearly thirty years. Her traditional photographs and fine art images have been widely published and exhibited throughout the American West.
Sandra's interests in cultural landscapes as well as the photographic process, coupled with her involvement in environmental issues, led to a research project and degree in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies from Montana State University. Pilgrims and Rituals in Yellowstone National Park: Touristic Encounters with the Sacred examines the role of visual images in cultural mythology and the perceptions of natural spaces. She remains acutely interested in things abstract, both ideas and images. Sandra is happy most places west of the 100th Meridian, especially if there is a camera in her hand and the landscape includes hydrothermal features or big red rocks. She lives mostly in Gardiner, Montana, on the north boundary of Yellowstone National Park, but can often be found trolling the backcountry of the Southwest for petroglyphs, banded rock formations, and spotted lizards.