The magic of winnning a National Geographic Traveler photo contest ...

NIKOLA SMERNIC, PETAPIXEL:

"In 2013, my then-girlfriend Martina and I were in Queenstown, New Zealand at the end of a two-month trip. The evening before our journey back home, we went out for a walk, absorbing the magical streets.

"At one point in the stroll, my attention was drawn to a busking pianist on the Marine Parade. The music was so amazing, and we lingered for a few minutes just listening to the man play and observing the quiet and melancholy scene (even though we needed to start packing).

"I made a couple of photos as well.

"A few minutes later, we left the scene not knowing who the man and the girl were, and only remembering that beautiful and brilliant music. It was one of those moments, the kind that you continue to think about long after they pass."

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