"While on storm chasing expeditions in the Tornado Alley in the U.S., I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on My 28th, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but stayed an LP storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail and some rain."
Credit: Marko Korošec/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Second Place: First Time
"Mea Shearim is an ultra Orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly married, Aaron and Rivkeh after the wedding ceremony are to stay together alone for the very first time. Their marriage was arranged by families. The 18-year-old candidates confirmed the choice in result of the one meeting only. Since then until the wedding day they were prohibited to meet or even talk."
"Green Lake (Grüner See) is located Tragöss, Austria. In the spring, the snowmelt raises the lake level about 10 meters. This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks, covers the hiking trails, meadows and trees."
Credit: Marc Henauer/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Foggy Small Town
"This photo of Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, was captured at noon on December 25, 2013, from the castle which is located on the edge of the small town. It is the perfect viewpoint for the panorama of the almost intact historical town. The fog and mist gave the town a sense of mystery."
"This photo, taken at the 'end of the world' swing in Banos, Ecuador, captures a man swinging and overlooking an erupting Mount Tungurahua. The eruption took place on February 1st, 2014. Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud."
Credit: Sean Hacker Teper/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Ladies in Waiting
"While exploring Burough Market in London, I was delighted to come across four lovely young women dressed in vintage white dresses, eating ice cream as the local shopkeeper looked on. Are they brides? Or bridesmaids? I don't know, but they are obviously enjoying a very special day."
"This photo of Moussa Macher, our Touareg guide, was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune (or erg) in the Tadrat region of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria. Moussa rested while waiting for us to finish our 45 minute struggle to the top. It only took 10 minutes of rolling, running and jumping to get to get back down.
The Tadrat is part of the Tassili N'Ajjer National Park World Heritage Area, famous for its red sand, engravings and rock paintings of cattle, elephants, giraffes and rhinos that lived there when the climate was milder."
"The 'Mayana Soora Thiruvizha' festival takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam, the day after Mahashivarathiri, the great night of Shiva. The festival is devoted to Angalamman, a fierce guardian deity worshipped widely in Southern India."
"On arrival at Jonathan's Lodge our horses took to celebrating liberation from their heavy burdens. With the backdrop of the 'Devil's Knuckles' and the afternoon's glow, how could I not take advantage of these magnificent creatures rejoicing? This was the end of the first of a three day horse back ride through Bushman's Nek, up the Drakensberg escarpment and into Lesothos' Sehlabathebe National Park."