Some of my favorite photo images are those with simple compositions, and even desaturated tones, those with streaked clouds and smooth water. Even though these images are easy to look at, it is not always easy to achieve this look.
I use a neutral density filter to make the water look smooth. When the water is smooth, reflections are more defined. I use Photoshop 2020 for my photo edits to decrease the saturation of most colors, or maybe to add saturation in a certain area. I use the camera raw filter for many edits: to add light in an area, to decrease contrast in an area, or to increase texture in an area. I like to decrease contrast and add haze to far elements, and to add light and definition to the near elements in an image. For this image I used a gray gradient with the soft light blend mode and the Nik High Key filter at a reduced opacity.
To achieve simple compositions, it is often necessary to crop and clone out elements. I often use Nik Color Efex High Key filter to simplify elements. I keep experimenting with different filters and effects to get the look I want: simple, smooth, soft.