Ugh, people and their petty comments... I feel your pain on that
The plain truth is there seems to be very few people who see beauty in simplicity. Your photo here is simple, just water that blends into the sky with only a hint of the horizon. When I look at this photo, I don't see just another ocean photograph (to paraphrase ~thefoxysquirrel), I see of course the calming shades of blue, but I am also struck by what we don't see. What lies beyond that distant horizon? Are we viewing this from the shore or from the middle of a vast unknown sea? There's a feeling of being absolutely alone, but not lonely. Are we dreaming this view?
Congratulations on receiving your DD. It was very much deserved.