Another attempt at a photo-realistic piece. I cheated a little by adding strong atmospheric effects and blurring out the land just a tad. Still, I'm relatively happy with the outcome. Rather than using the Ocean modifier in Blender, I used some Musgrave textures to displace the surface. I think - for the goal of relatively calm water - it is a better process than the modifier. Also, I had a devil of a time getting the atmospheric effects just right, when trying to use the new Volumetrics nodes. So, I opted to go with a few planes, with a combination of nodes to create a cumulative effect on the progressively distant islands.
This is the scene setup from Blender...
Here is the material for the water surface. The underlying layer (the blue plane from above) was just a blue glass material to add some depth & hue to the water.
Here is the material for the atmospheric planes (shown as wireframes in the above screenshot of the scene). I layered the planes (as viewed from the camera) so the effect of the material would be cumulative.
This is the render, before and processing in Photoshop.
... and the final piece, after post processing.
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