Our Readers' Best Travel Photos

by - December 21, 2009 See all photo galleries
Fall foliage reflection on Hidden Lake

Earlier this fall, we asked our readers to submit their best travel photos, and the response was overwhelming. We received more than 1,800 photo submissions, which made it difficult to choose only 10. After several rounds of voting, however, SmarterTravel's team of editors finally agreed on their top picks.

Congratulations to the winners, and a heartfelt thanks to everyone who entered. Each of the top 10 picks will receive a SmarterTravel TSA-compliant travel kit, complete with four bottles and a funnel. Please keep an eye out for other photo contests in the near future. Now, without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you our top 10 readers' travel photos.

Hidden Lake

This photo was taken by Karen Bergmann from Racine, Wisconsin.

"A friend and I had taken a long weekend off to go to the Finger Lakes in New York state to take fall photos. We expected the foliage to be at peak color. It rained the entire weekend. We were so disappointed.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, we headed back to New Jersey. Late in the afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds and as we were driving along on the freeway I spotted a sign that said 'Hidden Lake this exit.' On a whim, I told my friend to exit the highway and follow the signs to Hidden Lake.

... My friend, who was driving my car and not accustomed to driving outside the city, backed the car up to park on the side of the road on the earthen shoulder ... The car immediately sank up to the axles in mud ... I called around to find a tow truck that would come out late on a Sunday afternoon to pull us out. It would be over two hours. Upset, I took out my camera and went to shoot some photos so it would not be a total loss. We were lucky. The colors were at peak and no one was on or around the lake so it was perfectly still ...

Eventually we were pulled out of the mud and we drove the rest of the way back to New Jersey tired and still disappointed about the weekend. It was only the next day when I downloaded the photos and looked at them on the screen that I realized what beautiful photos I had taken. It was a complete surprise and shock! ...

About me: I am a pharmacist who has worked for a large multi-national pharmaceutical company for the past 16 years. Twelve of those years I lived in Greece and Switzerland, traveling around the world from those countries. The most unique place I have had the privilege to visit was Bhutan. I enjoy building pottery and taking photographs as a way to relax and develop the more artistic side of my brain after working in the science and business world all day. I began using a digital camera in 2000."

Read comments or add your own insight!