Getting color and balance in an image with water and bright sky can be impossible. A camera sensor is not nearly as complete as the human eye. In most shots like the ones here something will suffer.
HDR, High Dynamic Range, images help solve the problem. An HDR image is basically 3 images combined together into a single image. One is taken at correct exposure, one a bit lower, a third higher. Combined and the highs and lows balance with a correct exposure. In the right situation of course.
I’m still working on when I want to use HDR. Merging 3 images means only landscape shots since there can be no movement between each photo. I also don’t want to ‘over cook’ any photos either during the developing (post process).
Now that we have sun I will need to practice. HDR takes some setup and I usually am photographing things as they run by. I guess it will force me to slow down.