After scouring more than 13,000 submissions, National Geographic's panel of experts has chosen the Travel Photographer of the Year for 2018. Meet Reiko Takashi, whose astonishing underwater photo of a humpback whale calf, took home this year's prize of $10,000 USD.

In speaking on the image, dubbed Mermaid, and captured while on a snorkeling trip near Japan’s Kumejima Island, Takashi says, “Most of the time, the calf stayed close to her mom. At one point, the calf began jumping and tapping its tail on the water near us—it was very friendly and curious. Finally, the mother, who was watching nearby, came to pick up the calf and swim away. I fell in love completely with the calf and it’s very energetic, large, and beautiful tail.”

Be sure to let us know what you think of the award-winning shot, then head on over to National Geographic for more on the Travel Photographer of the Year contest.

Next up, meet photographer Emanuele D’Angelo, who calls Emily Ratajkowski his muse.

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