July 29, 2016 5:34 PM EDT

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will commence on Aug. 5 with the Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. The embattled host city has faced sharp criticism ahead of the games as it attempts to control the spread of the Zika virus—while working to contain a dire financial situation after declaring a “state of public calamity in financial administration.”

Brazil’s economic crisis, political unrest and Zika epidemic have taken center stage, overshadowing the usual fanfare that surrounds the Summer Olympics. Reuters photographer Ricardo Moraes went in search of a different viewpoint, and captured images of Rio’s beauty in a series of land and cityscapes entitled “Postcards from Rio.”

In the photographs, we see a sunset over Sugarloaf Mountain; spot a pair of sunbathers at Barra da Tijuca beach; and get a bird’s-eye view of the Christ the Redeemer statue.

“When it hosts the first ever Olympics in South America, starting Aug. 5, visitors will see a city whose stunning topography—stark, verdant mountains loom over packed and playful beaches—competes only with the drama of daily life here,” Moraes said in a post on Reuters’ “The Wider Image.”

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