Conclusion is that people don't really want realistic colours - which is fine, because cameras are completely unable to render them...
That is a terrific example! But I would differ slightly with what it demonstrates. It isn't so much that "people don't want realistic colours", because that is not
a picture of the colors! It's a little bit of what Ansel Adams meant when he said "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." What Pablo Picasso meant with "Art is the elimination of the unnecessary." and relates to that old saw about shooting in BW makes a photograph of a person's soul while color takes a picture of the color of their clothes.
To be a little more academic about it, Rudolf Arnheim (1904-2007), in "Film as Art" said,
"This discovery of the gestalt school fitted the notion that the
work of art, too, is not simply an imitation or selective
duplication of reality but a translation of observed
characteristics into the forms of a given medium"
The version that attempts to duplicate the "accurate" colors is wonderful if and only if you have a need to record the colors that existed. But that isn't the same as making an appealing photograph of the pool, the building, their relationship, or whatever else it might be that is a more useful photograph as a work of art.
If the building's relationship to the pool is the object, then the sky in the first one which is much less of a distraction, is a better choice. So might be the darker green of the trees in the background. But the second image makes the building more dominant, though the greens in the foreground could probably be reduced in dominance too.
It's not a matter of what people want, it's a matter of what the photographer wants the image to convey to the viewer! The image is a photograph
(a form of communications, an art form) and is not reality
. Editing needs to consider what is being communicated to the viewer, not what the scene "really" was when you saw it.