When we look up at the sky we see points of light - stars. All of these stars below to our very own Milky Way galaxy. But, there are many, many other galaxies out there, each with its own set of millions of stars.
When you look at an image of a galaxy and see individual stars, those stars are in our Milky Way galaxy and just happen to be in the same line-of-sight as the background galaxy.
Most galaxies appear very small in a telescope because they are very far away. There are exceptions, of course, like the famous Andromeda Galaxy, which is so big that it fills up the field of view of my 80mm telescope even though it's 2.4 million light years away!
© Barry Etter, Mocksville, NC