Often a good way to get an unusual angle on something can mean you pull your hair out looking for somewhere different to shoot from.
Sitting on the same river bank next to the masses of other photographers means that you're most likely to come back with something similar.
Don't forget to look up. Sometimes there can be places you can climb up to get a bird's eye view of the scene.
Doing this often help reduce a scene to graphic elements and get rid of a lot of irrelevant details as well.
In this particular photo, taken in Corbett National Park, India. I could see a mahout and his elephant in the river getting ready for a wash. After taking a few photos at eye level I looked up to notice a large water tower protruding out over the river.
This being India and Public Liability being a figment of some Western imagination, the entry gate and walkway to the tower were wide open and I just walked on through. I was really pleased to find that the tower gave me a great view down on the scene below and cut out a lot of clutter.
A nice, simple composition of mahout and elephant complete with the brown water and the mud stirred up by the elephant. Compared to my ground level shots I much prefer this one.