Standing in the same place, next year, this will be a different scene. The water will have moved the sub-surface boulders, and the trees will have grown or died. What we have here, reflected photons from a time gone by. Even at the instant of image capture,a photograph is always an image of the past, although at that moment a very recent past.
Photographs are amazing memory aids; they help us remember things we never even noticed at the time we made them. Beautiful details, that we should not have missed, are placed on view so we can enjoy that lost beauty: lost, then found. We never knew we'd missed it. So, a good photograph is wonderful because, in this way, it is a gift.