Breaking Surf, Bora-Bora, French Polynesia, 1997

Photograph by Jodi Cobb

Lacy breakers lap the coral reef that rings Bora-Bora, an ancient sunken volcano 165 miles (266 kilometers) northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia's Society Islands. Surrounded by sugar-white beaches, an electric-blue lagoon, and some of the clearest water on the planet, Bora-Bora is home to hundreds of species of tropical fish. Not surprisingly, it's one of the world's top spots for divers.

—Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "French Polynesia: Charting a New Course," June 1997, National Geographic magazine