Was your trip spectacular, but your pictures aren't so great? A common amateur mistake is to take a wide shot of everything. Instead, try looking at it in a way you haven't tried before. The details can make great pictures in and of themselves. Zoom in, look for patterns and try different compositions.
Experiment with how you can capture your surroundings by changing shutters speeds, looking for details and pulling out interesting patterns. Unique views will help capture wonder and excitement of any special place.
About the photo: Joel Sartore's photo from April 1993 is of Lex Beatrous' red-lored Amazon parrots. These parrots, which survived Hurricane Andrew, were worth $600 each. Beatrous reportedly lost only two parrots in the devastating storm.