...Have you written it was intentionally?
If you meant did I make it clear in my submission to the magazine that what I did was intentional, then the answer is no. Otherwise, it was indeed intentional, first the use of flash during capture, then emphasizing it further in PS, for pretty much the same reasons you mentioned.
Furthermore, now that I reprocessed it to downplay the reed section, I can only say that I feel my initial decision seems even more right. The "downplayed" version is neither here, nor there, i.e., reeds are there, but murky, indeed standing in the way, distracting from the sky.
So, ultimately, I'll stick to my guns (i.e., the original version), hoping that one day "in a different kind of magazine this could also be a spread" (thank you for that).