These Award-Winning Photos Show Our Planet at Its Most Beautiful

The natural world is a stunning place. Every year, the best landscape photography shows off Earth's beauty. The following photos are some of the winners from the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest.

The sun is seen behind trees on a winter day on the hills around Vienna, Austria, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

They highlight powerful mountains, scenes of isolation, worlds of color and light, and the abstract loveliness found in landscapes all over the world. Winning photos were shot in the wilds of Patagonia, the mountains of Iceland, and in the desert-surrounded lakes of Brazil. They show the world in ways that will make you want to get up, pack a bag, and go exploring.

Cristiano Xavier of Brazil won the aerial photography award with this stunner from the Lençóis Maranhenses in northeastern Brazil.

Winner of the aerial photography award.

Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral won the long-exposure award for this galaxy-revealing shot from Veadeiros National Park in Brazil.

Winner of the long-exposure award.

Huibo Hou, who's based in San Diego, won third in the "Photographer of the Year" competition. Here, she shows the otherworldly Bisti Wilderness Area of New Mexico.

Huibo Hou won third place for 'photographer of the year'.

Solitude and silence come through in Hou's black and white images. Pictured is Yellowstone National Park in winter.

Huibo Hou photography.

The park is blanketed in snow and silence in this shot by Hou.

Huibo Hou photography.

And there's a sense of isolation in this stark image, which is also from Yellowstone.

Huibo Hou photography.

Alex Nail of the UK took the mountain award for this photo of the Southern Highlands in Iceland.

Winner of the mountain award.

Romanian photographer Cosmin Stan won the snow award for this windy shot from Ciucas Mountains National Park in Romania.

Winner of the snow award.

Canadian Adam Gibbs came in second place in the "Photographer of the Year" competition. This is Watersprite Lake in Squamish, British Columbia.

Adam Gibbs came in second place for 'photographer of the year'

With this ethereal image, Gibbs shows off Fairy Lake at Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

Adam Gibbs photography.

Gibbs also captured this natural bridge in Yoho National Park in British Columbia.

Adam Gibbs photography.

And here, he shows the spectacular view from above the clouds in Mt. Seymour Provincial Park in British Columbia.

Adam Gibbs photography.

Hong Kong-based photographer Stephen King won the tree award with this haunting image from Ace Hill at Hirafu Village in Hokkaido, Japan.

Winner of the tree award.

Max Rive of the Netherlands won the "International Landscape Photographer of the Year" award for his body of work, which includes photos from New Zealand, Patagonia (shown here), and other locations.

Max Rive won

Rive started taking photos in 2008 and has only been a professional for the past three years. Here he shows Monte Fitz Roy in Argentina.

Max Rive photography.

This image by Rive, taken on the Argentinian side of Patagonia also won the individual "Photograph of the Year" competition. It shows Cerro Torre in the background.

Max Rive photography.

Rive's perspectives of the spectacular Swiss Alps are also stunning.

Max Rive photography.