A horseman atop his steed in Wyoming. A night vista in Venice. A hammock in the Maldives. Elephants in Thailand.

On the surface, these scenes have nothing in common. However, images of all of them were recognized at Virtuoso Travel Week as the year’s top travel photos.

Every year Virtuoso holds two photo contests: one for its travel advisors and one for their clients. This year, the seventh annual Virtuoso Member Photography Contest for advisors attracted 1,077 entries. The Virtuoso Traveler Photography Contest, in its third year, drew 680 entries.

Take a journey around the world by viewing the top four travel photos in each contest:

Virtuoso Member Photography Contest

Travel photos: Wyoming horse and rider
Grand Prize
Andrea Gonzalez, International Travel Group, Mexico City, Mexico
“Marlboro Country” – Wyoming

Grand Prize

Andrea Gonzalez, International Travel Group, Mexico City, Mexico

“Marlboro Country” – Wyoming

Gonzalez took the striking image during a photography trip to Montana and Wyoming, visiting a ranch with wild horses and expert horsemen.

Travel photos: a night scene in Venice
First Place
Kevin Dern, Protravel International, Chicago, Illinois
“Night in Venice” – Venice, Italy

First Place

Kevin Dern, Protravel International, Chicago, Illinois

“Night in Venice” – Venice, Italy

Dern captured this characteristic shot of a Venetian canal and bridge using a long exposure.

Travel photos: pygmy seahorses
Second Place
Ryan Dandy, Coastline Travel Advisors, Garden Grove, California
“Pygmy Seahorses” – Indonesia

Second Place

Ryan Dandy, Coastline Travel Advisors, Garden Grove, California

“Pygmy Seahorses” – Indonesia

Dandy calls the seahorses “adorable critters the size of a pinky nail,” and says coming across them was a highlight of his Indonesian dive trip. Although he’d seen the creatures before, he’d never been able to get one to look straight at him before, much less two “very photogenic” ones.

Travel photos: villa, Lake Como, Italy
Third Place
Kayla Zeigler, Destination Europe, Columbus, Ohio
“Villa of Lake Como” – Lake Como, Italy

Third Place

Kayla Zeigler, Destination Europe, Columbus, Ohio

“Villa of Lake Como” – Lake Como, Italy

During a private boat trip, Zeigler took this shot of Sir Richard Branson’s private villa on scenic Lake Como. She called it “one of the most beautiful villas,” praising the “amazing grounds and perfect setting on the lake.”

Virtuoso Traveler Photography Contest

Travel photos: hammock in the ocean in the Maldives
Grand Prize
Charlotte Latella
Advisor – Beth Jenkins, McCabe World Travel, McLean, Virginia
“Hammock in the Ocean” – Maldives 

 

Grand Prize

Charlotte Latella

Advisor – Beth Jenkins, McCabe World Travel, McLean, Virginia

“Hammock in the Ocean” – Maldives

This shot of utter relaxation in the middle of a lagoon in the Maldives was taken at Virtuoso resort Gili Lankanfushi.

Travel photos: fun with elephants in Thailand
First Place
Peter Jacoby
Advisor – Paul Largay, Largay Travel, Waterbury, Connecticut
“Fun with the Elephants” – Thailand

First Place

Peter Jacoby

Advisor – Paul Largay, Largay Travel, Waterbury, Connecticut

“Fun with the Elephants” – Thailand

This photo conveys the fun that ensued when playful elephants sprayed Jacoby’s group during their visit to Chiang Mai.

Travel photos: children at Taj Mahal
Alexandra Patsan
Advisor – Ariana Wong, Mary Rossi Travel, Sydney, Australia
“Young Hearts in Awe of the Spectacular Taj Mahal” – Agra, India

Second Place

Alexandra Patsan

Advisor – Ariana Wong, Mary Rossi Travel, Sydney, Australia

“Young Hearts in Awe of the Spectacular Taj Mahal” – Agra, India

Patsan captured her children “mesmerized by the beauty of India” in this shot. She called the trip “remarkable … truly spectacular and a loved experience by all.”

Travel photos: sunset in the Sahara
Third Place
Fabricio Artur Ribeiro Goncalves
Advisor – Fernanda P. Gouvea, PrimeTour Agencia de Viagens, Sao Paulo, Brazil
“Sunset in the Desert” – Sahara Desert

Third Place

Fabricio Artur Ribeiro Goncalves

Advisor – Fernanda P. Gouvea, PrimeTour Agencia de Viagens, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Sunset in the Desert” – Sahara Desert

Goncalves took this dramatic shot while taking a break during a two-day trip to “appreciate the spectacular sunset in the desert.” This was shot on his journey from Marrakesh through the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert close to the Algeria border. The last leg of the desert adventure was a two-hour camel ride to reach the camp “in the middle of nothing.”

If these photos inspired you to do some globetrotting yourself, look no further than the travel experts at Virtuoso to help you plan your next vacation.