The National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, now in its 25th year, encourages amateur and professional photographers alike to "harness the power of photography and share [their] stunning travel experiences from around the globe."

Aside from the recognition, photographers are also vying for a range of prizes, which includes a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands for the first place winner. The window for accepting submissions closes on June 30, so get a move on!
Want a taste of the competition? Here are 13 of the contest's most promising submissions with captions provided by the photographers.
the Lost Coast Trail

Photo and caption: Anni Graham/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The Lost Coast Trail: "Early morning ascend on the trail of Day 13 on our two week journey of the Lost Coast Trail, May 13th, 2013."

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Fennec fox marching through the sand

Photo and caption: Francisco Mingorance/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Fenec the Soul of the Desert: "The fennec, or desert fox is a canine mammal species of the genus Vulpes, which inhabits the Sahara Desert and Arabia. With its features ears, this is the smallest species of the family Canidae. It is endangered and its main threat is illegal in other countries."

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Hamersley Gorge

Photo and caption: Ignacio Palacious/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Hamersley Gorge: "Karijini National Park in WA is one of the largest and most photogenic national parks in Australia. The park is famous for its sheer gorges, waterfalls, sparkling rock pools and cool swimming holes. Karijini is about 275km south of Port Hedland and 100km east of Tom or Paraburdoo. The park is all about exploring serpentine tunnels of marbled rock, clambering over boulders, squeezing through narrow tunnels, inching your way along ledges, paddling through subterranean waterways and descending deep into chasms which have been eroded into the landscape over two billion years."

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Woman swimming with jellyfish

Photo and caption: CheanChong Lim/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Swim with jellyfish: "Its like a dream when u swimming with harmless jellyfish..."

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Lizard hanging on plant, starry sky in background

Photo and caption: Hannes Lochner/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Starry Starry Night: "In the rainy season the insects are in abundance in the Kalahari desert. Outside my tent is a big light and attracts lots of bugs. The Bibron's gecko's take advantage and perched themselves anywhere close to the light-source and have a feast. The glow from the left is from my fire."

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Gentoo chicks

Photo and caption: Richard Sidey/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Gentoo chicks: "Two newly hatched Gentoo Penguin chicks get their first glimpse at the Antarctic wilderness."

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Reynisdrangar, Iceland

Photo and caption: Florin Szoke/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The Reynisdrangar: "Basalt sea stacks called Reynisdrangar, located under the Reynisfjall mountain, close to Vik i Myrdal in southern Iceland. The legend was that there were three trolls who were pulling a three masted ship to the shore unsuccessfully, but they were caught by the sunlight at dawn and turned them into needles of rock."

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Fly resting on snake head

Photo and caption: Robin Moore/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Fly Cap for a Vine Snake: "A fly lands on the head of a vine snake in the Choco of Colombia."

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Lightning storm

Photo and caption: Francisco Negroni/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Tormenta en el Caulle: "The eruption of Cordon Caulle began on June 4, 2011, located in the Region of Los Rios in Chile. For about 12 months, people and animals became accustomed to living with the daily fall of ash, which also caused problems in the air traffic in South America. The explosions and lightning during first days of the eruption could be seen from hundreds of miles around. This photograph was taken on the second night of eruption from the town of Lago Ranco."

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Plant in snowmelt

Photo and caption: Andres Miguel Dominguez/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Snowmelt in the Mountains: "This picture was taken in Spain (Parque natural "Sierra de Grazalema"). In meadows where cattle during heavy rains, many small gaps are formed. These ponds raised slightly eutrophic freshwater algae. These algae live with herbaceous plants and when the lakes freeze very attractive compositions are created. Here we appreciate frozen bubbles and lines formed on thawing. This occurs when the temperature rises past dawn. I used macro lens because this wild geranium leaf (Erodium sp.) is very small."

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Huskies in snow

Photo and caption: William Chua/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Husky Ride: "Huskies pulling my sledge through the forest."

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Ashura mud men

Photo and caption: Guido Dingemans/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Ashura Mud Men: "Iranian shi'a muslim men, in trance and covered in mud, mourning during the Day of Ashura, on which shi'a muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn, grandson of Muhammad, and third shi'a imam. The mud is an important part of the local mourning ritual. Shot in the town of Bijar, Iran."

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Synchronous fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains

Photo and caption: Cheng Niu/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Light dancers: "Great Smoky Mountains is known for its Synchronous Fireflies during each early summer. This year I spent 3 consecutive nights in early June staying in mountain area trying to capture this phenomenon. I was so lucky to witness a spectacular light show on an actual rainstorm night. I left my camera there for an 1.5 hour exposure. There were tens of thousands of fireflies dancing around using their light to paint the scene in front of me and I was the only audience of their light show. They are amazing artists of Mother Nature."

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.
Travel photos take center stage in Nat Geo photo contest
Photographers across the globe are invited to submit their most stunning travel photos to the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.