The Wonder of Water in 33 Dreamy Pictures

Let instant calm wash over you with these stellar submissions to the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.

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Alberta, Canada"My best ever travel experience. I was desperate to come back to Moraine Lake because I had been here twice before as a child on holiday and it had become my favourite memory. Coming back as an adult meant I was able to finally capture in person the views that I'd always seen on postcards and when a woman came to just sit and wonder at the incredible view I knew I had a good shot. The combination of the sheer beauty of Canada and fulfilling a personal dream made this shot my personal favourite."
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Puerto Río Tranquilo, Chile"The marble caves of Patagoina"
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Lofoten, Norway

"View of the village. Panorama from two shots. Lofoten, Norway"

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Caribbean Sea"Caribbean reef sharks are usually shy so I placed my camera on a rock where I know they frequent and used a remote trigger to click away as they came in and bumped my camera around."
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Ise Mie, Japan

"Taken at Ise,Mie pref,Japan.The rocks represent the union of the creator of kami 'God in Japanese', Izanagi and Izanami. During the winter seasons, slanting rays of light shines the rock as the sun rises. I wanted to create calm, peaceful images so I've used long exposure to capture the scenery."

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Trieste, Italy"The amazing still waters of the Grand Canal in Trieste, Italy loaded with tied up boats with large white puffy clouds above reflecting in the glass like water."
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Baral River, Bangladesh

"A man riding boat and crossing the Baral River during winter when river become dead and mossy are visible more than other season due to orderliness of water."

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Lake Yogo, Japan

"Lake Yogo, called 'The lake of Mirror', sometimes reflects everything in front of you."

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Wakayama, Japan

"The Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine and the Nachi Great Waterfall UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Nachi Water Fall is 133 meters high, 13 meters wide, and has a water flow of one ton per second. This is actually the highest waterfall in Japan and the object of the worship in the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine."

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The Ocean"I love the ocean and it is considered my second home. I believe that all beaches should be protected. Majority of this world is taken up by the ocean. We would be nothing without it! Pollution is slowly damaging our beaches and it is up to us to protect these lands!"
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Niigata, Japan"The flow of fog at dawn was like the waterfall."
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Wanaka, New Zealand"I had heard so much about this famous tree and thought that so many people had photographed it that there was no point in doing so myself. That was until I saw it on this glorious early morning and was drawn to taking my own creation of this."
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Antarctica "I was cruising in a zodiac along the Antarctic Peninsula when we encountered this adelie penguin walking up a steep iceberg. I quickly composed the photo as we approached the iceberg before veering off past the penguin. I had time for six photos in succession before we passed by the iceberg and cruised through the iceberg-laden waters. This photo best conveyed the best composition of the angular iceberg as well as the most pleasing position of the penguin."
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Tadami River, Japan"There is a village (Ohshi area) to like surrounded by river in the topography where the Tadami River meanders greatly. Ohshi is a village on the Tadami river in Fukushima Pref that has chosen co-existence with nature rather than urban development.I could meet the scenery like the original landscape in the back of own memories."
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Bangkok, Thailand"A traditional floating market boat near Bangkok, complete with plastic containers selling coconut ice cream in a traditional hat to people too busy with their technology to care. This is modern day travel. It is mostly floating around chasing an experience that no longer exists."
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Yakushima, Japan"Yakushima is an island full of abundant moss and beautiful water"
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Quang Nam, Vietnam"The bridge is made of bamboo, build by the people living in the surrounding villages . The villagers use the bridge daily to cross the river to the vegetable field. The vegetables are brought home at the end of the days to prepare for sale on the next day at the village's market place. Their live are routinely like that everyday."
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Lofoten, Norway"We were driving along the road near Tengelfjord and suddenly this mirror lake appeared. Hurriedly we stopped the bus and all jumped out to capture this amazing view. It is just amazing that such beautiful views are everywhere at Lofoten Islands. Truely blessed."
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Tonga, Oceania

"A freediver swim in the deep of 'swallows cave' in Tonga. This cave is settled by more than few thousand fish. They offer you a spectacular ballet when you dive inside. The contrast between the dark of the bottom and the light of the top make bright the fishes like stars."

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii"Lava falls into the sea. Explosions occurred and there was warm smoke. My camera lens became fog up."
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Hokkaido, Japan"Nemuro is the most easternly town in all of Hokkaido, known for its fisheries and for being surrounded by the Sea of Okhotsk (which separates Russia and Japan). This whole sea completely freezes over in early February. Pictured here is one of the fisheries, which is now feeling the effects of this early freezing process."
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Lake Gorgova, Romania"A fisherman from the Danube Delta, walking across the frozen lake Gorgova. They open more than 20 holes in the thick ice, then run their nets under the ice, for more than 200 meters. All this from dawn until sunset, on sub-zero temperatures."
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Hokkaido, Japan"Cherry blossoms reflected in perfect condition."
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Queensland, Australia"This photograph captures a whale behaviour called ‘spy hopping’, where whales poke their head above the water to take a look around and see what’s happening above the surface. It’s like these majestic mammals of the sea understand we are watching them and are trying to connect with us in some way. In this shot, I wanted to capture this by showing the whale between two worlds, ours above the surface and its below, at the precise moment when it is about to make that connection."
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Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada"Aerial shot was taken in Death Valley national park from a small plane"
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Delhi, India"Yamuna river is most polluted when its flow in Delhi, its too muddy and full of filth. Yamuna is second most sacred river after Ganga. People took holy bath in as they feel its very sacred. Numbers of Siberian Sea Gull comes here in winter. They give the place a new dimension for few months. Here a local man took his daily bath in Yamuna river."
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Hokkaido, Japan"Voice from the stars"
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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore"Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Here is an interior look of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The criss-crossing placement of the link ways make an interesting composition, and I waited patiently for a sampan to sail by the center before taking the shot. From this shot, you can see a combination of shoppers, diners, as well as tourists."
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil"It was an ideal day for surfing just off of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana beach, and this man was making the most of it, catching wave after wave. I had my point-and-shoot trained on him since he was smoothest and most skillful of the wave riders, and caught him passing through a wave while he was waiting a better one in an oncoming swell."
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Dubulti, Latvia"Two Fishermans catching fish on the river from the boat early in the morning."
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Jardines de la Reina, Cuba"As the sun set in Jardines de la Reina, golden sun rays pierced through the surface of the water. It painteda spectacular backdrop for the pelagic silky sharks that came out to hunt. I was under a lot of time pressure take the shots. As the window of the golden light shrunk, the boatman hurried me to exit the water. Shark waters can be dangerous on the surface when it gets dark. It was also too dangerous to navigate around shallow reefs to return to the mother boat."
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Canastota, New York

"The only sound throughout the swamp on this late spring morning were three geese honking at one another. They gathered at the head of the lake, where a fog bank rolled in just as the sun peaked over the trees to wrap the area in an ethereal glow. As I watched, the goose in the center of the trio pivoted toward the sun and, as if in greeting, arched out of the water and flapped its wings."

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Rajasthan, India"In the Rajasthan Desert water is collected and carried on their heads in ceramic vessels, keeping the water cool and fresh for those who pass by."
Tap images for captions

We’re hardwired to seek out water. The majority of the world's population today lives near some form, settling along coastlines, bays, or rivers. For vacation, we head to sandy shores or soak in the views of alpine lakes for ultimate relaxation. Divers get an adrenaline rush when exploring underwater worlds. Hikers find complete solace upon reaching a plunging waterfall. Water boosts our minds, spirits, and bodies.

The 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is underway, and the entries already reflect this inherent human nature. Many stunning submissions feature watery wonders, from cherry blossoms mirrored in Japan to an undersea scene in Vanuatu. Take a look at some of our editors' favorites so far, then be sure to submit your best shot. 

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