“Polar Obsession,” a photography exhibition featuring striking images of the world’s polar regions from National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, is now on display through Sept. 6, 2019.

The images will take visitors underwater and across the ice, delivering a unique close-up of wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctic. Nicklen, who regards himself as an ambassador for polar life, grew up in a small Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic. From an early age, he learned how to survive in the frozen terrain and developed a passion for the wildlife around him.

The exhibition is organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society



Photo Exhibition Dates:

February 24 – September 3, 2019

Access to the photo exhibition is included at no extra charge with Texas State Aquarium admission or membership


  1. PAUL NICKLEN/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC A Gentoo penguin chick peeks, checking for patrolling leopard seals before tempting fate.
  2. PAUL NICKLEN/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC A leopard seal feeds Paul Nicklen a penguin.

  3. PAUL NICKLEN/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Looking toward an uncertain future, a huge male bear triggers a camera trap, taking his own picture.

Today, his expeditions take him to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of rare, close-up photographs of polar species, their intriguing ways and their environs. Constantly honing his understanding of wildlife behavior in order to approach the animals in their most intimate natural settings, Nicklen uses photography to dispel myths, reveal rarely seen behaviors and intensify the world’s interest in the entire polar ecosystem.

The exhibition is drawn from Nicklen’s National Geographic book “Polar Obsession,” which showcases important insights into animal behavior, the fragile polar environment and climate change that threatens the ice and its inhabitants.

“Polar Obsession” will include 57 of the 150 images from the book, which features Nicklen’s most spectacular images from the polar reaches. From huge elephant seals, leopard seals, whales, walruses, narwhals and polar bears to penguins, albatrosses, petrels, arctic cod and tiny krill, Nicklen, an underwater photography specialist, captures the beauty of a wide variety of polar animals, large and small, and the icy paradise in which they live. Each scene is bathed in polar light, surreal and breathtakingly beautiful.