The stunning beauty and diversity of the human race is captured in a series of photographs that have been submitted for this year’s National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Every year National Geographic asks the world's adventurers and travelers to submit their best photographs into the contest which features four categories including portraits, outdoor scenes, sense of place and spontaneous moments.
Photo and caption by Andrey Pavlov: This photo was taken on the bank of Li-River close to Xingping fishing village. Mr. Huang and his four brothers are from the last fishermen that still keep the tradition of fishing using specially trained cormorants. In recent days, this ancient technique has transformed into a tourist attraction and a source of income for Mr. Huang, who desperately needs funds for buying medicines for his sick wife. Location: Xingping, Guangxi province, China
Photo and caption by Frieda Vanhee: On a gas station we met another car waiting for fuel. Location: Caprivi region Namibia
Photo and caption by Cynthia MacDonald: Kibera is located just outside of Nairobi and is the largest slum in Africa with over a million people. It is built on piles and piles of garbage which is painfully obvious while walking the streets. Location: Kibera, Nairobi
Photo and caption by Jennifer Holmes Beamer. While traveling through Tasmania, we took a detour to find this spectacular lavender field. After a soothing meander among endless fields of fragrant lavender we were ready for a nap in the red soil. Location: Tasmania Australia
Photo and caption by Cynthia MacDonald. A father and daughter with a fish in the net at sunset on Inle Lake, Myanmar. Location: Inle Lake, Myanmar
Photo and caption by Stylianos Papardelas. Children playing in the backstreets of old Varanasi. An explosion of colors, smiles and energy. Location: Varanasi, India
Photo and caption by Chet Stein. An unexpected mix of the modern world with the traditional world. Location: Mt. Hagan, Papua New Guinea
Photo and caption by Joyce Le Mesurier. At the annual Ananda Harvest Festival in Bagan, Myanmar, thousands of monks from all over Myanmar came to receive alms. While walking around the vast temple grounds, I chanced upon this boy monk who was playing with his toy gun. Even though it was only a toy gun, I found this image a disturbing juxtaposition of the peace that Buddhism embodies and the violence that guns symbolize. Location: Bagan, Myanmar
Photo and caption by Kim Hino. The children in the remote villa of Kong Lo in Laos were simply beautiful in the innocence of their smiles and curiousity for these strangers among them, that after playing about in a pile of hay, they were even more comfortable in front of the camera and their true spirit in what I experienced in the simplicity that they enjoyed around them and shared with me came through. The symbolism in there chosen pose here speak volumes to me. Location: Kong Lo, Laos
Photo and caption by Michael Siy. Exploring Sa Pa village their way of living, their traditional colorful clothing, I was able to capture this three H'Mong kids playing outside their house. Location: Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province, Northwest Vietnam
Photo and caption by Thomas Pieters. I was taking some shots on the beach of Taghazout, Morocco, when this little guy came up to me asking in what hand he was holding a coin. After playing along I asked if I could take his picture. Location: Taghazout, Agadir province, Morocco
Photo and caption by Manna Michela. This picture has been taken during the Holi festival in India. Location: Jaipur India
While the stars may flock to the Hamptons and California beaches may fill up with surfers, there are plenty of other more removed beach vacation spots that are not hampered by tourists. That said, it never hurts to have one of these luxurious beachfront homes to call your own when summer rolls around.
If you can't claim ownership of one of these homes, the owners- and their well-paid architectural teams- invite you to look in to see how the other half lives.
Home design site Houzz allows design aficionados to post pictures of their homes for anonymous browsing by neighbors (or really anyone with internet access).
Some of the most knock-out properties, as culled by The Huffington Post, are detailed below showing the different directions that water-lovers took in order to make the most use of their space.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Living the life: Rather than relying on the natural drama to keep guests entertained at this Mexican mansion, the designers at Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects made playful decisions to make the house a spectacle in itself
Cabo San Lucas: Split levels and interesting architecture throughout the house keeps visitors guessing what is coming next
Imaginative: Guests enter a grotto where the walls are painted bright pink and circular themes evoke an element of whimsy (above) and are given the chance to take some rest outside of the glare of the southern sun by relaxing in the outdoor porch area (below)
All of the elements: Adding to the heightened extremes, they even installed a fire pit inside the pool so that you feel the heat even while you chill out
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Southern hospitality: This home on Kiawah Island in South Carolina combines some details of the Old World Southern charm with a massive spread ideal for large family gatherings. The home has its own private pathway directly to the beach that welcomes visitors back to their pool and hot tub just outside of the home. The architects at Solaris made sure that large windows keep the sight of the water nearby, while the warm wood and wainscoting add charming accents.
Neskowin Beach House, Oregon
Northwestern beauty: This remote house on Neskowin Beach just outside of Portland is more focused on the natural beauty than on catching rays
Elements of nature: The designers at Alan Mascord Design Associates made sure to incorporate the region by using locally sourced natural cedar to build the home
Take it all in: Much of the draw of this home is understandably its location right on the moors overlooking the water, and the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows help the owners see the view at all angles.
Fire Island, New York
Separate together time: This five bedroom home on Fire Island, designed by Resolution: 4 Architecture, was made for a very specific family who would visit the summer house just off Long Island on the weekends. In order to create separate space for the parents and their adult children, the home was effectively designed as two unique towers that is then connected by a small bridge with a sheltered courtyard and pool. Cedar wood and large panels of glass allow for unobstructed views of the sunset.
Eco-friendly on the Cape: This five bedroom home looks out onto Cape Cod Bay in Wellfleet, Massachusets
Designed by Hammer Architects, the home incorporates green technology to the owner's advantage: by using sunscreen structure shades, the heat within the home drops dramatically meaning that there is no need for air conditioning
In addition to droping the cost of keeping the home cool, the owners can leave the windows open and have the sea breeze create circulation in the house