Imaging of the eye plays an important role in ocular therapeutic discovery and evaluation in preclinical models and patients. Advances in ophthalmic imaging instrumentation have enabled visualization of the retina at an unprecedented resolution. These developments have contributed toward early detection of the disease, monitoring of disease progression, and assessment of the therapeutic response. These powerful technologies are being further harnessed for clinical applications by configuring instrumentation to detect disease biomarkers in the retina. These biomarkers can be detected either by measuring the intrinsic imaging contrast in tissue, or by the engineering of targeted injectable contrast agents for imaging of the retina at the cellular and molecular level. Such approaches have promise in providing a window on dynamic disease processes in the retina such as inflammation and apoptosis, enabling translation of biomarkers identified in preclinical and clinical studies into useful diagnostic targets. We discuss recently reported and emerging imaging strategies for visualizing diverse cell types and molecular mediators of the retina in vivo during health and disease, and the potential for clinical translation of these approaches.