If your transmitting antenna has low losses and is driven at the right frequency it will emit power efficiently. A straightforward simple antenna like a dipole will emit power evenly in all directions in one plane and, it will emit zero power in other directions. I mention this to set the scene.
The electromagnetic power emitted is made from two fields and those two fields are an electric field and a magnetic field measured in volts per metre and amps per metre respectively. The power of these two fields is simply volt.amps per square metre i.e. we talk about power in watts per square metre and the square metre part does represent the watts that flow through the air per square metre.
However, as you get further from the transmit antenna the power per square metre drops with distance squared. Think of a light bulb emitting light in all directions - your eyes have a certain area with which to capture that power and if you move away from the light the power per square metre reduces.
So a transmit antenna transmits a fixed amount of power and the further you are away, you receive less of that power because it is spreading out. It isn't attenuating, it is spreading out.
Now think about your receive antenna and importantly, don't think of it as a wire, think of it as a collector of power with a certain area - this is called the aperture of the antenna and is measured in square metres. Up close to the transmit antenna the energy density is greater and more watts are packed into a given area. Further away there are fewer watts per square metre so your receiver (with a fixed aperture) cannot receive the same power.
If your receive antenna's aperture "collects" 0.5 watts at position A it will collect one quarter of that power at position 2A.
There is no trade off with load resistance - you get the power that is collected by the receive antennas aperture. If of course your receive antenna is up really close to the transmit antenna you are in, what is called, the "near field" and this is much less predictable - you get induction and electric coupling effects and you can, under the right situation "load" the transmit antenna and produce much more difficult to understand relationships.
So, if you are just talking about EM radiation from an antenna you are in, what is called, the far-field. This nominally begins about 1 wavelength from the transmit antenna so, at 2.4 GHz this is round about 10 cm.
So, what I've largely said above, is about far-field power transfer and not near-field stuff. In the far-field the power you get is immutable by impedances - the receive antenna can only "collect" what is delivered and that is nearly the end of the story however, if you don't provide the correct impedance to the antenna you won't maximize the power potential. Any antenna has an impedance and this is vastly frequency dependent so, you are limited even more.
In short, in the far-field you get what power you are given and, you have to match impedances to maximize that power.