An underwater photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale has won the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest grand prize. Whale Whisperer was selected from more than 17,000 entries. The photo was taken near Roca Partida, an island off the western coast of Mexico by Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico. Floriuk wins an eight-day National Geographic photo expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two.

Floriuk said: "The photo wasn't planned. I was taking photos near the head of the whale, and all of a sudden she began to swim toward the rest of the diving team. The divers gave the whale and her calf space, and I just clicked at the moment when the flow and composition seemed right."

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Grand Prize winner: Whale Whisperers by Anuar Patjane FloriukAnuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Faisal Azim of Chittagong, Bangladesh, won second prize for his photo Gravel Workmen. He will receive a six-day National Geographic photo expedition in Yellowstone for two.

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Second Place: Gravel Workmen in Chittagong, Bangladesh, by Faisal AzimFaisal Azim / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The third-place photo, Camel Ardah, was shot by Ahmed Al Toqi of Muscat, Oman. He wins a six-day cruise for two from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage.

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Third Place: Camel Ardah, Oman, by Ahmed Al ToqiAhmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

This year's contest received more than 17,000 entries from photographers around the world. There were four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. The judges also chose the following seven Merit prize winners (in no particular order).

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Catching a Duck, Nong Khai Province, Thailand, by Sarah WoutersSarah Wouters / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: A Night at Deadvlei, Namibia, by Beth McCarleyBeth McCarley / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Kushti, Indian Wrestling, by Alain SchroederAlain Schroeder / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Highlanders, Poland, by Bartłomiej JureckiBartłomiej Jurecki / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Romania, Land of Fairy Tales, by Eduard GutescuEduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: White Rhinos, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda, by Stefane BerubeStefane Berube / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Merit: Sauna in the Sky, Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps, by Stefano ZardiniStefano Zardini / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest