Sounds like you are trying to achieve the impossible... get accepted into the "cool kids club" in Junior High.
From what I've read here so far, you should just bow out gracefully and forget they ever existed. They are legends in their own minds. You stand to gain very little from that association and they don't appreciate your input anyway.
Whenever I join something like this, I never want to be the smartest guy, in fact I want to be just a few steps above the dumbest guy. That way I will be able to learn a lot from others. In your case, you are so far ahead of the others that you'll never learn anything and they obviously don't want to learn from you. So, no point in staying with that club, eh?
Oh, and thanks for sharing!! It helps remind us of the pitfalls of some situations like this.
I think my issue with the group is I was never WOWED by what they shared... so I didn't... I don't way to say respect... because that is wrong... but I didn't defer to them the way they would expect me to. And I don't really share that many images because they are mostly of my kids or other people's kids (portraiture/action/sports)... so they didn't have any reason to hold me in high regard... So there's that.
I'm going to let the smoke blow over... I'm going to be snarky which is my default mode anyway... and then I'm going to excuse myself... without much fanfare.
Like you... I really like not being the smartest person in the room... though at times it feels as though I'm looking for my bachelor's while the people talking are working on the 3rd phd... which is fine... but maybe I get lost in the translation to undergrad speak.
And thanks for listening... it is good to vent.